Sunday, June 3, 2012

Super Baked Ziti

Today we made our famous baked ziti. Rob stayed up until 1:30 last night making the sauce. He'd watch TV for 15 minutes, then get up and stir it again. It cooked through two episodes of Jericho, an episode of 30 Rock, and Saturday Night Live. Rob used our own homegrown oregano, basil, onions, and garlic in the sauce--not to mention pounds and pounds of our own tomatoes. There were Indigo Roses in there, and Park's Whoppers, and Matt's Wild Cherries. . . . The ziti turned out so good. We ate it on the screen porch under the ceiling fan. We were surrounded by dozing cats and the baking beds of prairie coneflowers and bronze fennel. I'm afraid it will never rain again.

Super Baked Ziti


1 lb whole wheat ziti
1 batch (about 4 cups) homemade marinara sauce
1 batch cashew ricotta
1 onion, finely chopped
3 Asian eggplants, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Crushed red pepper
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
2 3-oz packages chopped sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
Olive oil

Cashew Ricotta:
1 package silken tofu
2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water overnight)
1 Tbls lemon juice
¼ tsp salt

1/2 cup Panko
2 Tbls nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbls olive oil


Preheat oven to 420° F. Smear some olive oil around a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Boil noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. Sauté chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until onions are softened. Add a little salt. Set aside. Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil with some crushed red pepper and a little salt. Set aside. Sauté the eggplant in olive oil with a little salt. Set aside.

Make the cashew ricotta by blending everything together with an immersion blender. Make the topping by mixing all the ingredients together.

Toss cooked ziti and marinara sauce in a large bowl until pasta is well coated. Add onion and garlic, mushrooms, eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Mix well. Add the cashew ricotta, stirring gently and leaving some pockets of cheese. Add everything to the oiled baking pan. Top with Panko mixture. Cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake five minutes more.


  1. Yum! I am going to try this when I come back from my trip.

    Oh, I was so happy to see Carl and Elroy (Leroy?) last time I was at your house. The whole thing was so much fun.-B

  2. I had so much fun too! Finding Puff was such a magical adventure!